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3 Reasons Why Teens Today Can’t Find Jobs

And why this is terrible for America.

by
Bonnie Ramthun

Bio

March 30, 2014 - 12:00 pm
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Editor’s Note: This article was first published in in July of 2013 as “3 Reasons Why Our Teenagers Can’t Find Jobs.” It is being reprinted as part of a new weekend series at PJ Lifestyle collecting and organizing the top 50 best lists. Where will this great piece end up on the list? Reader feedback will be factored in when the PJ Lifestyle Top 50 List Collection is completed in a few months… Click here to see the top 40 so far and to advocate for your favorites in the comments.

paperboy

The employment rate among teenagers is incredibly dismal. I know this firsthand, since I have teens at home and teenage nieces and nephews who cannot find work. There’s an irritating theme that runs through family conversations about our unemployed teens, and the words I hear most often are “lazy” and “entitled.”

“I had a paper route when I was their age,” one of the older members of the family will tell me every time we get together. “They need to get out and hustle. Walk the neighborhood, mow lawns, weed gardens. There’s lots of jobs out there for teens.”

“They should get roofing jobs,” another family member exclaimed. “When I was a teenager in high school, the dreamiest guys were the summertime roofers since they had the most gorgeous tans. And they had the best bodies, too!”

The attitude towards teens today is one of disdain for the luxuries they enjoy and their lack of a good work ethic. Teens are spoiled, lazy, and unwilling to work hard.  Do you believe this?

shutterstock_161734739

Listen up, older people. The world isn’t the same now as it was then, and that’s not good. Not good for our teens and not good for our future. The days of the paper route are gone.  Here are the three reasons why teens can’t get jobs today, and why this is terrible for America.

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Top Rated Comments   
Once again, since this is apparently rerun season, time to rerun some of my comments on the original article:

Indeed, this article describes what I'm seeing all around me every day. The oldsters complain about teens being spoiled and lazy and addicted to all their electronic gadgets, and this may all be true, but it's also irrelevant. The real problem is that for every reason you mentioned (and then some), THERE ARE NO ENTRY-LEVEL JOBS. Period.

There are no paper routes, no roofing jobs, no carpeting jobs, no fast food jobs, no jobs pumping gas, no jobs at the cinema, no jobs for teens, period; even a lot of adults can't get these jobs. What the minimum wage laws and salutory neglect toward illegal immigration haven't destroyed, the government busybodies are rapidly regulating to death. As noted elsewhere on this site, sophisticated machines will soon be replacing fast food workers, and very few workers will be needed to operate and maintain those machines. I also strongly suspect this is not the only field in which machines will eventually replace humans.

My proposed solution? Deregulate, throw the government nannies out, and abolish those evil minimum wage laws. This is for the short term. For the long term, start training teens how to make a living off of the machines; somebody still has to build and own and operate them, you know, in addition to repairing and maintaining them. With all the gadgets kids are using these days, this kind of technical training shouldn't be too difficult for them to master.
17 weeks ago
17 weeks ago Link To Comment
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All Comments   (6)
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And the best thing entry level jobs teach you is what you don't want to do when you are fifty. Or thirty.
17 weeks ago
17 weeks ago Link To Comment
Another rerun:

Illegal immigration does factor into the bigger problem, but one shouldn't mistake the symptom for the disease. The minimum wage laws are a much bigger and more deleterious factor for the simple reason that they're a form of price fixing. When a government bureaucrat goes fixing the price of a job above what that job is actually worth (such as $15 an hour for a hamburger flipper), the employer basically has three options:

1) Reduce the number of employees and dump extra work on the remainder until they're doing enough work to be worth the new wage.

2) Just eliminate the job altogether, maybe through outsourcing it to some place that doesn't have stupid minimum wage laws (like China or India), or maybe through just plain quitting the business.

3) Ignore the law and hire people to work at whatever rates the job is really worth.

Illegal immigration, for its part, factors heavily into employers deciding to go with option 3. Economically speaking, an employer has three perverse incentives to hire illegal immigrants: they'll save the employer money, they're the most willing to work off the books with no questions asked since they're already breaking the law, and the lawless lefty politicians who advocate for illegal immigration will also tend to be rather lax in enforcing *any* regulations against a business that hires illegal immigrants. If you were a small business or franchise manager and times were a little tight for your company, what would you do?

So yes, illegal immigration is a problem for encouraging employers to go with option 3. You many notice, however, that options 1 and 2 are decidedly unfriendly to teens seeking work or anyone else needing an entry-level jobs too. Employers who decide, whether for moral or prudential reasons, to forgo option 3 are stuck with options 1 and 2. That's why cracking down on illegal immigration, however satisfying it might be politically, will do very little to improve our economy and put people back to work. We've got to put a stop to the government's meddling in the economy first and foremost, and minimum wage laws are a big part, if not the biggest part, of that meddling.
17 weeks ago
17 weeks ago Link To Comment
Once again, since this is apparently rerun season, time to rerun some of my comments on the original article:

Indeed, this article describes what I'm seeing all around me every day. The oldsters complain about teens being spoiled and lazy and addicted to all their electronic gadgets, and this may all be true, but it's also irrelevant. The real problem is that for every reason you mentioned (and then some), THERE ARE NO ENTRY-LEVEL JOBS. Period.

There are no paper routes, no roofing jobs, no carpeting jobs, no fast food jobs, no jobs pumping gas, no jobs at the cinema, no jobs for teens, period; even a lot of adults can't get these jobs. What the minimum wage laws and salutory neglect toward illegal immigration haven't destroyed, the government busybodies are rapidly regulating to death. As noted elsewhere on this site, sophisticated machines will soon be replacing fast food workers, and very few workers will be needed to operate and maintain those machines. I also strongly suspect this is not the only field in which machines will eventually replace humans.

My proposed solution? Deregulate, throw the government nannies out, and abolish those evil minimum wage laws. This is for the short term. For the long term, start training teens how to make a living off of the machines; somebody still has to build and own and operate them, you know, in addition to repairing and maintaining them. With all the gadgets kids are using these days, this kind of technical training shouldn't be too difficult for them to master.
17 weeks ago
17 weeks ago Link To Comment
"An undeveloped work ethic" Lemme see, show up every day, on time, dressed appropriately, and do what your supervisor tells you to do. If it's an entry level job you didn't get hired to do calculus or write Shakespearean prose. Catch a clue here.
17 weeks ago
17 weeks ago Link To Comment
This is no secret, and has been with us for decades, already. We were just richer, so we could afford an extravagance like a teenage floor sweeper. Cellphones are only the latest nail in the coffin.
They shouldn't have to learn to apply themselves, but since they no longer have Daddys, who is going to teach them?
There lies the real problem. No Daddys.
Hope all you single Moms enjoy supporting them until you die.
17 weeks ago
17 weeks ago Link To Comment
The leftist elite expect their children to go to college and get a high paying white collar job. Many of the children of the middle class will also go to college, and if the have enough sense not to get their degree in acupuncture, they will fill all the other white collar slots. Most of todays teenagers will join millions of minority youth, and exist on welfare, the underground economy and petty crime.
17 weeks ago
17 weeks ago Link To Comment
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